Could I change my address please.

Oladipo Salami diposalami at
Mon Apr 11 12:43:52 UTC 2005

Dear lgpolicy-list "Convener",
   I wish to request for a change of e-mail address because of the current
problem I have with my hotmail adddress. Here is my new address:
    ladirenike at
Thank you for your kind attention.
Best regards,
Oladipo Salami

>From: "Harold F. Schiffman" <haroldfs at>
>Reply-To: lgpolicy-list at
>To: Language Policy-List <lgpolicy-list at>
>Subject: Math and Science teaching in Malaysia (cont'd)
>Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 13:41:55 -0400 (EDT)
>The Star Online > Education
>Sunday April 10, 2005
>Onus on teachers
>THE time has come to produce results, not excuses. Disappointed with the
>results of an Education Ministry study which revealed that secondary
>school students were having a tough time coping with the learning of
>Mathematics and Science in English, education director-general Datuk Dr
>Ahamad Sipon says more is needed to give this three-year-old policy the
>shot in the arm it needs. We must never be satisfied with the way we do
>things. There always has to be improvement, he told reporters after
>chairing a special meeting with senior ministry officials on the
>effectiveness of teaching Mathematics and Science in English, last month.
>Singling out teachers as being the main impetus for change, he added, We
>need more commitment from teachers now. A senior ministry personnel who
>helped train teachers to teach the subjects in English says a sense of
>complacency has set in since the hype of introducing this policy in 2003.
>Back then everyone was excited as it was something new. They were
>enthusiastic and motivated. Things are different now, she says, adding
>that teachers need to buck-up in order for students to improve.
>Curriculum Development Centre (CDC) deputy director Zoyah Nordin admits
>that levels of proficiency in English vary among teachers and calls for
>patience as both students and teachers adapt themselves to the changes.
>They are trying their best to pick up the language. You cannot expect them
>to make the switch overnight. Give them time, she told StarEducation when
>met after a signing ceremony to commemorate a partnership between the
>ministry, British Council and HSBC to implement a series of workshops to
>train master trainers in teaching Mathematics and Science in English.
>Zoyah says the special training to be done in collaboration with the
>College of St Mark and St John in the United Kingdom is among the efforts
>being made by the private sector to help make this policy a success.
>Everyone wants to help, she says.
>The fuss
>Concern over this issue was dragged into the spotlight when Dr Ahamad
>revealed that while primary pupils showed encouraging progress at learning
>in English, secondary students especially those from rural schools were
>producing just average test scores. Why the fuss? Consider the investment.
>Under Budget 2003, a whopping RM5bil was allocated for the implementation
>of the teaching of Mathematics and Science in English with RM978.7mil for
>the first two years alone (2003 and 2004).
>                  We have gone too far in implementing the policy to
>backtrack now, the source says.  When the matter was raised at the Second
>Malay Education Congress recently, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib
>Tun Razak said that a study was being carried out to determine if there
>was a transitional problem or something more deep-rooted and permanent
>that needed to be addressed.  Whatever it is, the policys implementation
>is taking a beating and being turned into a political issue.
>                  Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has said that the
>use of English to teach the subjects in English has affected the
>performance of Malay students in rural areas, adding that both teachers
>and students were not proficient in the language, lacked enthusiasm and
>were uninspired to teach and learn the subjects. The problems are deep
>rooted but can be addressed if teachers start playing a more proactive
>role. Teachers are not going to improve their command of the language if
>they just rely on the ministrys training programmes. They must make the
>effort to learn on their own. Use the language to learn it, adds the
>She says that out of 10 teachers she spoke to recently, only two were
>making the effort to improve their proficiency on their own. Most of them
>are just getting by. Are they teaching or are they just mouthing words
>based on the material given to them? she questions. CDC director Mahzan
>Bakar, who was also at the press conference with Dr Ahamad, says that
>various training and support programmes for teachers have already been
>introduced including a buddy system where teachers with a good grasp of
>the language are paired with those who are weak.
>The buddy system is a very powerful tool for teachers but how many are
>actually tapping fully into it? says the source who is also involved in
>drawing up material and lesson plans for the teachers. She adds that there
>are abundant resources for teachers to improve but they are just not being
>used effectively.
>Transition period
>Measures such as the ministrys District English Language Coordinator's
>(DELC) initiative and bringing in native English speakers from the UK need
>time to bear fruit, Zoyah says. Also, proficiency is subjective and must
>be taken in context. A school in Petaling Jaya will find it easier to cope
>with the change compared to a rural school in East Malaysia, says the
>source. Dr Ahamad says the ministry is aware of the problems and is
>drawing up an action plan to address the challenges.
>Among the measures he highlighted were the restructuring of state and
>district education departments to support the teaching of the subjects in
>English, developing a blueprint for Form Three teachers to network and
>plan lessons together to ensure better delivery of instructional materials
>and for school heads to play a leading role in instilling a culture that
>promotes the use of English in schools. As teachers, it is very important
>to know that your principal is proficient in English. School heads must
>lead by example, the source says. However, while this is being done,
>institutions such as the English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) with its
>wealth of resources seems to have been sidelined.
>The centre was set up in 2002 to improve the quality of English language
>teaching and learning in the country, and entrusted with the specific task
>of conducting courses in English for the Teaching of Mathematics and
>Science (ETeMS). The ministrys Teacher Training Division has taken over
>the training of teachers for Mathematics and Science, so I do not know
>what the role of ELTC is now, the source says of the centre which trained
>2,000 key trainers who had, in turn, impacted over 50,000 Science and
>Mathematics teachers since its inception. However, Zoyah notes that the
>important thing is that the children are enjoying themselves learning the
>subjects in English.
>Let us wait until 2008 when the first batch of students to learn
>Mathematics and Science in English enter Year Six. Then, we will be able
>to evaluate the success of the programme. Until then, we are still in a
>transition period, she says. The ministry source says this years batch of
>Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) results will be a good indicator of the
>success of the initiative as students will have to answer their
>Mathematics and Science papers in English for the first time.
>                               1995-2005 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd

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